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How Do CBD Topicals Work?

 How Do CBD Topicals Work?

In recent years, the skincare industry has experienced a revolution. Consumers are hungry for skincare products and they’re more informed than ever about the importance of skin care as health care.

And as you browse drugstore aisles or peruse cosmetic e-commerce sites, you may notice popular skincare brands have added a new ingredient to their skincare collections — CBD.

When it comes to skin care, CBD is ideal for nourishment ... packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and healthy, hydrating oils.

There are many varieties of CBD topicals for sale, from balms to moisturizers, and they CBD topicals come in all shapes and sizes. But what are the benefits of CBD in skincare products and how does CBD work with your skin health?

This guide will cover:

  • CBD basics: the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
  • how CBD topicals work with the skin and the endocannabinoid system.
  • CBD skincare benefits.
  • CBD topical uses in your day-to-day.
  • how to find the right CBD topicals for you.

CBD Basics: The Endocannabinoid System

To understand how CBD can work seamlessly into your healthy skincare routine, let’s first break down what CBD is and how it works in your body. It all starts with the endocannabinoid system.

This complex network communicates with multiple body systems. Called the ECS for short, it is primarily responsible for regulating and monitoring the following:

  • mood
  • stress management
  • energy
  • appetite
  • sleep cycles
  • relieving discomfort

While scientists are still learning about the ECS, research shows that it manages these bodily functions through the use of endocannabinoidsand endocannabinoid receptors.

Endocannabinoids are molecules your body naturally creates to help monitor everything from your sleep patterns to your appetite. When something goes wrong — you’re hungry, you’re tired or you’re experiencing discomfort — endocannabinoids bind with endocannabinoid receptors to send a signal to the ECS. From there, the ECS helps to alleviate the problem. Endocannabinoid receptors are a kind of “emergency call button,” telling the body where it needs a little extra help.

Scientists have discovered two major types of endocannabinoid receptors: CB1, which is primarily found in the central nervous system; and CB2, which resides in the tissues of the immune system.

What Is CBD and How Does It Interact With the ECS?

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants, including hemp plants and marijuana. It’s one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant — molecules that help the body by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors.

Your body makes its own version of cannabinoids in the form of endocannabinoids. While scientists are still working to understand the full effects of CBD on the ECS, most have theorized that CBD plays a role in extending the longevity — and therefore effectiveness — of your body’s endocannabinoids. The effects include:

  • improved mood
  • stress relief
  • soothed muscle aches
  • restful sleep
  • increased energy and focus

By working within the ECS, CBD naturally supports your endocannabinoids’ ability to provide relief and comfort.

What Makes CBD Different From THC?

Much like CBD, THC — or tetrahydrocannabinol — is a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It also interacts with the ECS, but in a much different way than CBD does. THC binds to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Essentially, THC “breaks into” the ECS through these receptors to cause euphoria, sleepiness, increased appetite, memory changes and sometimes paranoia.

Because CBD isn’t a psychoactive compound, it doesn’t create these psychoactive effects and, instead, supports the body’s natural functions through the ECS. 

How CBD Topicals Work With the Skin and ECS

Now you understand how CBD works within the body, but how does it work for the skin? To answer that, let’s return to cannabinoid receptors.

There are large numbers of both major types of cannabinoid receptors — CB1 and CB2 — in the skin. CBD can be absorbed into the skin through CBD lotion, CBD balms and CBD oils. From there, CBD goes to work within the ECS. Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, there is ample opportunity to envelop yourself in CBD care. Your skin is the perfect place to introduce the benefits of CBD into your body.

When it comes to skin care, CBD is ideal for nourishment because of its source — the hemp plant. Hemp is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and healthy, hydrating oils.

A unique set of wellness benefits truly sets CBD topicals apart from other skincare products, and can elevate skincare routines to full mind-body care rituals.

For example, let’s say your skin has been feeling a little lackluster from a hectic week. Rubbing in a little infused topical moisturizer lets your skin absorb hydration, nutrients and the healthful cannabinoids locked into the formula. While the moisturizer gives your skin a plump, dewy look, the cannabinoids work their magic with your endocannabinoids, providing relief from the inside out.

CBD extract skincare products help to support mind and body wellness while providing nourishment and rejuvenation to the skin.

CBD Skincare Benefits

A unique set of wellness benefits truly sets CBD topicals apart from other skincare products, and can elevate skincare routines to full mind-body care rituals.

The following are just a few of the natural effects of CBD:

  • soothes aches – After an intense workout class or a long run, you feel sore almost down to the bone. CBD oil balm benefits are extensive and may provide much-needed pain relief as well as healthy hydration.
  • decreases redness – After a hectic week at work, you may experience blemishes or ruddiness in the skin. A nourishing CBD oil or CBD face cream may calm your skin, even out your complexion and help you wind down and relax.
  • moisturizes (without clogging pores) – The healthy oils in hemp-derived CBD are ideal for combination skin. You can experience replenishing hydration without worrying about blemishes or skin imperfections.
  • reduces fine lines and wrinkles – In the skincare world, hemp is known for its anti-aging properties, thanks to two main ingredients: linoleic acid and oleic acids. These acids help lock in moisture for long-term hydration and nourishment.

CBD Topical Uses in Your Day-to-Day

As you browse through beauty aisles or skincare websites, you might feel a little overwhelmed. There are so many ways to add CBD to your skincare routine. Here’s how to use CBD cream and other skincare products so you can incorporate the skin-healthy benefits of CBD into your day-to-day life:

  • morning and evening facial moisturizer – Every beauty blogger knows it: Moisture is the key to long-term skin health. After washing your face, apply a topical CBD moisturizer morning and night to help lock in hydration and provide a wellness boost to your mind and body.
  • hydrating lip oil – A full spectrum hemp oil can nourish dry spots on your skin. Keep a bottle on hand in your purse or bag before you head out for the day and reapply whenever your skin feels dry. Rub a drop or two on elbows, knees or chapped lips for moisture relief.
  • body lotion – Your face isn’t the only area that needs hydration. Treat your skin to a rejuvenating CBD body lotion. After an evening shower, apply all over to help replenish the skin’s natural healthy oils and support restful sleep with CBD.
  • body balm – The perfect addition to your post-workout shower routine. After an intense pilates class or uphill bike ride, your muscles may feel achy and sore. Pamper your limbs with the nourishing oils and soothing effects of a CBD muscle and joint balm.

How to Find the Right CBD Topicals For You

Whether you’re looking at CBD skincare products for a new go-to lip oil or daily moisturizer, it can be difficult to distinguish the high-quality CBD topical products from the average ones. Look for the following characteristics to help you find the best in CBD skin care:

  • Pamper your skin with organic CBD skin care. Look for skincare products made from organic hemp plants that are free of contaminants like unnatural pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and heavy metals. That means it’s better for your skin and your overall wellness.
  • Find a product that’s third-party tested. Because CBD topical products aren’t monitored by the FDA, it’s up to CBD brands to test the purity of their own formulas. Brands that test their skincare products through third-party labs are more likely to be committed to transparency and quality.
  • Look for a Label Accuracy Guarantee™. What can be more thorough than checking a product’s purity through third-party laboratory testing? Double-checking the results through another laboratory. When you see a Label Accuracy Guarantee™ on a CBD skincare product, that means the item has undergone one round of third-party laboratory testing and then those results have been checked by another lab. It’s the most thorough ingredient verification process in the CBD market and guarantees that what you see listed on the label is what you get.

There’s only one place where you can find CBD skincare products that are made from organic hemp extract, third-party tested and come with a Label Accuracy Guarantee™ — Zebra CBD.

Zebra CBD: For Wellness Beyond Skin-Deep

Your skin health is an important component of your overall health and well-being. After all, it’s your body’s armor against the world. And that’s the appeal of skin care: Taking care of your skin helps you feel more comfortable, at ease and healthy from the outside in.

Zebra CBD’s Moisturizing Cream For Face &  Body, formulated with organic, American-grown premium hemp extract, is one of the most effective hemp formulas on the market for everyday skin care.

Elevate your skincare routine with the healthful benefits of Zebra CBD today!


U.S. News Health. Do Topical CBD Products Work?

Self. Do Topical CBD Products Actually Do Anything for Pain?

Healthline.A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System.

Healthline. Hemp Oil for Skin.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD).

Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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